FoodReference.com Logo

FoodReference.com   (Since 1999)

Food Articles, News & Features Section

 

  Home   ·   Food Articles   ·   Food Trivia   ·   Today in Food History   ·   Recipes   ·   Cooking Tips   ·   Videos   ·   Food Quotes   ·   Who's Who   ·   Food Trivia Quizzes   ·   Crosswords   ·   Food Poems   ·   Cookbooks   ·   Food Posters   ·   Recipe Contests   ·   Culinary Schools   ·   Gourmet Tours   ·   Food Festivals & Shows  

 

 You are here > Home > Food Articles

 

CULINARY SCHOOLS &
COOKING CLASSES

From Amateur & Basic Cooking Classes to Professional Chef Training & Degrees -  Associates, Bachelors & Masters
More than 1,000 schools & classes listed for all 50 States, Online and Worldwide

WILD MUSHROOMS

 

Excerpt from: The Ethical Gourmet by Jay Weinstein


Perhaps no wild food has been more misrepresented than wild mushrooms. Much of what consumers think is drawn purely from nature are actually cultivated products that never even existed in the wild. Other times, they see farm-grown fungi (derived from once-wild species) that never saw a forest floor. Over the last fifteen years, successful cultivation of varieties that had resisted captivity has revolutionized the mushroom-farming world. Search all you want for wild portobello mushrooms. You'll come up empty, because they were developed by breeders. So were their miniature offspring, creminis. Both are variants of the familiar white button mushrooms. Enoki mushrooms, those slender, elegant, wispy white hatpins, trace their origins back to a lab also. The wild species from which they're derived are orange to yellow in color.

While wild shiitakes exist, they're virtually never foraged or sold in America. The cultivated ones are too good and too cheap to justify the hunt. Ditto with oyster mushrooms. Hen-of-the-woods (maitake), bluefoot, and yellow chanterelles are also cultivated now (although there is still a thriving market for truly wild chanterelles of both colors, foraged in fall and winter).

Like truffles, morels—the handsome honeycomb-textured brown cones with a profound, woodsy flavor and aroma—still defy large-scale cultivation. When you see them, they're probably truly wild. The same is true of cepes (called porcini in Italy). Their complex flavor and irregular shapes are dead giveaways that they haven't yet been tamed.

Mushroom farming is an environmentally sustainable form of agriculture that requires almost no pesticide because the product grows so fast. Foraging, however, sometimes takes a toll on the forests where it's done, as huge teams of foragers trample young shoots as they turn the woods upside down in search of black gold like wild morels. Mostly, though, foraging is done on a small scale. I consider both foraged wild mushrooms and cultivated exotic and domestic mushrooms to be sustainable foods, and good choices for the environmentally concerned.
 

 

FREE Food & Beverage Publications
An extensive selection of free magazines and other publications for qualified Food, Beverage & Hospitality professionals

RELATED ARTICLES

  MUSHROOMS & FUNGI >>>   ·   Fungus Among Us   ·   Mushrooms 1   ·   Mushroom Facts & Varieties   ·   Mushrooms, Fun Facts  ·   Mushrooms, The Frivolities of Cooking   ·   Mushroom Growing   ·   About Truffles   ·   Truffles: The Diamonds of the Kitchen   ·   Wild Mushrooms  
  Home   ·   About Us & Contact Us   ·   Cooking Contests   ·   Free Magazines   ·   Food Links  

Please feel free to link to any pages of FoodReference.com from your website.
For permission to use any of this content please E-mail: james@foodreference.com
All contents are copyright © 1990 - 2014 James T. Ehler and www.FoodReference.com unless otherwise noted.
All rights reserved.
You may copy and use portions of this website for non-commercial, personal use only.
Any other use of these materials without prior written authorization is not very nice and violates the copyright.
Please take the time to request permission.